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Inspired by Experts

Have you ever been inspired by a legitimate know-it-all?  I’m not talking about those people who make stuff up to impress anyone who will listen but rather a true expert in a particular (or multiple) fields.  The first person who comes to mind, for me, is Dr. Maura Isles from TNT’s Hit TV Series “Rizzoli & Isles.”  Although her character is an extreme case of genius, it’s one of the reasons why I tune in to every episode.  Dr. Isles inspires me to want to learn more seeing how people trust the knowledge she shares and seek her out when they need answers.

Throughout my life, I’ve encountered less extraordinary examples of one or another category experts yet nonetheless inspiriting.  I’m easily sucked into their vast knowledge and confident way of speaking.  These folks are commonly known as SME‘s or Subject Matter Experts and they truly have a gift of inspiring others.

People seek one thing when it comes to information: Accuracy.  Unless you’re in search of opinion, the accuracy of what someone is telling you is critical to them returning to you for additional information.

In previous blogs I have talked about connecting.  If you are good at connecting then a smart way to retain your listeners, readers, fans, customers, clients, etc you should expand your factual knowledge about the subjects on which they rely on your for information.  How?  Research.  Read historical and up-to-date information on the subject.  Ask questions of other SME’s.  The wider you can expand your knowledge, the more frequently people will come to seeking information.  If the information you share is always wrong, they will never come to you again.  (Note: for business and marketing information I’m a big fan of the Harvard Business Review).

One of the best ways to inspire someone is by teaching them something, of value, that they didn’t already know.  Then, every time they use that new information they will think of you.  Not only that, they will share that information with others, hopefully, mentioning your name and/or business name along with it.


A Writer’s Word of Mouth

Ever wondered how to advertise your book with no budget?  Recently, I attended an Author’s Book Fair at the Hudson Library & Historical Society in Hudson, Ohio.  I had the privilege of meeting some very talented Ohio Authors and one of the most interesting insights they shared with me was that Word of Mouth had been the most instrumental tool in promoting their work.

Although “word of mouth” certainly doesn’t have the fleeting viral impact of a successful internet campaign, I agree with these authors in terms of it not underestimating it’s power.  In order for it to work, however, I believe when you’re discussing you’re book with someone there must be passion and conviction in your voice.  These qualities must be genuine or your discussion will not radiate.  Remember what Maya Angelou said:  “People will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

Being the book’s author, you are definitely the SME (Subject Matter Expert) of its contents.  However, are you prepared to summarize your book during an on the spot discussion with a stranger?  A good way to equip yourself for this more finite discussion is by composing an elevator speech.  This is a quick synopsis used to communicate some of the key highlights of your book.  I have heard some incredibly impactful elevator speeches as well as some real doozies.  For example, a smart elevator speech could simply be a paraphrased version of the summary that’s printed on the back or inside jacket of your book.  It might also include a snapshot of what inspired you to tell the story.  Make it clear, concise and most importantly, interesting.  You want your elevator speech to beg more questions of the listener.


1. ‘Practice Makes Perfect’

2. Allow yourself to be flexible.  The first elevator speech you create doesn’t have to remain set in stone.  As you use it throughout your encounters with people, if something doesn’t feel right our sounds awkward, revisit it and revise.  The more fluently-sounding your speech becomes will enhance the passion and conviction in your voice.  This will make people feel excited to read your book and it’s that feeling that will be their biggest take away – NOT the words you’ve chosen.

3. Have fun!  This also ties directly into how you will make your listener feel.  If the tone of your voice and the words you’ve chosen are dry and unexciting, you will elicit zero intrigue to run out and buy your book.

In closing today’s blog, I want to give credit to the three particular authors who clued me into this piece of advice:

Jody Casella:  Author of ‘Thin Space

Mindy McGinnis: Author of ‘Not a Drop to Drink‘ (soon to be a movie)

Natalie D Richards:  ‘Author of ‘Six Months Later

These books, along with my first novel Extra Innings: The Diamond Thieves, can be found online at Barnes & Noble and

Enjoy and PLEASE share your feedback on Goodreads and their individual Amazon page.  Authors really need the review support from readers like you.